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especially interesting the first evening that they dined there. The only portrait in Scott's Edinburgh diningroom was one of Charles XII. of Sweden, and he was struck, as indeed every one must have been, with the remarkable resemblance which the exiled Prince's air and features presented to the hero of his race. Young Gustavus, on his part, hung with keen and melancholy enthusiasm on Scott's anecdotes of the expedition of Charles Edward Stewart. The Prince, accompanied by Scott and myself, witnessed the ceremonial of the proclamation of King George IV. on the 2d of February at the Cross of Edinburgh, from a window over Mr Constable's shop in the High Street; and on that occasion also the air of sadness, that mixed in his features with eager curiosity, was very affecting. Scott explained all the details to him, not without many lamentations over the barbarity of the Auld Reekie bailies, who had removed the beautiful Gothic Cross itself, for the sake of widening the thoroughfare. The weather was fine, the sun shone bright; and the antique tabards of the heralds, the trumpet notes of God save the King, and the hearty cheerings of the immense uncovered multitude that filled the noble old street, produced altogether a scene of great splendour and solemnity. The Royal Exile surveyed it with a flushed cheek and a watery eye, and Scott, observing his emotion, withdrew with me to another window, whispering “ Poor lad! poor lad! God help him.” Later in the
season, the Prince spent a few days at Abbotsford ; but I have said enough to explain some allusions in the next letter to Lord Montagu, in which Scott also adverts to several public events of January and February 1820 — the assassination of the Duke of Berri— the death of King George III.- the general election which followed the royal demise — and its more unhappy consequence, the re-agitation of the old disagreement between George IV. and his wife, who, as soon as she learned his accession to the throne, announced her resolution of returning from the Continent (where she had been leading for some years a wandering life), and asserting her rights as Queen. The Tory gentleman in whose canvass of the Selkirk boroughs Scott was now earnestly concerned, was his worthy friend, Mr Henry Monteith of Carstairs, who ultimately carried the election.
“ To the Lord Montagu, 8c., Ditton Park.
“ Edinburgh, 220 February 1820. “ My Dear Lord,
“I have nothing to say, except that Selkirk has declared decidedly for Monteith, and that his calling and election seem to be sure. Roxburghshire is right and tight. Harden will not stir for Berwickshire. In short, within my sphere of observation, there is nothing which need make you regret your personal absence; and I hope my dear young
LETTER TO LORD MONTAGU.
LETTER TO LORD MONTAGU. 197 namesake and chief will not find his influence abated while he is unable to head it himself. It is but little I can do, but it shall always be done with a good will — and merits no thanks, for I owe much more to his father's memory than ever I can pay a tittle of. I often think what he would have said or wished, and, within my limited sphere, that will always be a rule to me while I have the means of advancing in any respect the interest of his son — certainly, if anything could increase this desire, it would be the banner being at present in your Lordship’s hand. I can do little but look out a-head, but that is always something. When I look back on the house of Buccleuch, as I once knew it, it is a sad retrospect. But we must look forward, and hope for the young blossom of so goodly a tree. I think your Lordship judged quite right in carrying Walter in his place to the funeral.* He will long remember it, and may survive many occasions of the same kind, to all human appearance. Here is a horrid business of the Duke de Berri. It was first told me yesterday by Count Itterburg (i. e. Prince Gustavus of Sweden, son of the ex-King), who comes to see me very often. No fairy tale could match the extravagance of such a tale being told to a private Scotch gentleman by such a narrator, his own grandfather having perished in the same manner. But our age has been
* The funeral of George III. at Windsor: the young Duke of Buccleuch was at this time at Eton.
one of complete revolution, baffling all argument and expectation. As to the King and Queen, or to use the abbreviation of an old Jacobite of my acquaintance, who, not loving to hear them so called at full length, and yet desirous to have the newspapers read to him, commanded these words always to be pronounced as the letters K. and Q.--I say then, as to the K. and the Q. I venture to think, that whichever strikes the first blow will lose the battle. The sound, well-judging, and well-principled body of the people will be much shocked at the stirring such a hateful and disgraceful question. If the K. urges it unprovoked, the public feeling will put him in the wrong; if he lets her alone, her own imprudence, and that of her hot-headed adviser Harry Brougham, will push on the discussion ; and, take a fool's word for it, as Sancho says, the country will never bear her coming back, foul with the various kinds of infamy she has been stained with, to force herself into the throne. On the whole, it is a discussion most devoutly to be deprecated by those who wish well to the Royal family.
“ Now for a very different subject. I have a report that there is found on the farm of Melsington, in a bog, the limb of a bronze figure, full size, with a spur on the heel. This has been reported to Mr Riddell, as Commissioner, and to me as Antiquary in chief, on the estate. I wish your lordship would permit it to be sent provisionally to Abbotsford, and
also allow me, if it shall seem really curious, to make search for the rest of the statue. Clarkson * has sent me a curious account of it; and that a Roman statue (for such it seems) of that size should be found in so wild a place, has something very irritating to the curiosity. I do not of course desire to have anything more than the opportunity of examining the relique. It may be the foundation of a set of bronzes, if stout Lord Walter should turn to virtu. “ Always, my dear Lord, most truly yours,
The novel of the Monastery was published by Messrs Longman & Co., in the beginning of March. It appeared not in the post 8vo form of Ivanhoe, but in 3 vols. 12mo, like the earlier works of the series. In fact, a few sheets of the Monastery had been printed before Scott agreed to let Ivanhoe have “ By the Author of Waverley” on its title-page ; and the different shapes of the two books belonged to the abortive scheme of passing off “ Mr Laurence Templeton" as a hitherto unheard-of candidate for literary success.
* Ebenezer Clarkson, Esq., a surgeon of distinguished skill at Selkirk, and through life a trusty friend and crony of the Sheriff's.